Monday, January 18, 2010

Chi Cha Lounge - A Caipirinha Catastrophe

Some family was in town on Saturday and it was restaurant week so we were not looking forward to the droves of people who would be at some of our favorite places so we thought we'd have a few drinks at Chi Cha lounge. Not that Chi Cha is on our bad list. It is one of those lounges that has stood the test of time. It was a great choice for the night in that it wasn't too crowded and its laid back loungey atmosphere offered exactly what we were looking for.

After rating the Caipirinha at Perry's I decided to see who else makes a good one so I went with the one offered on Chi Cha's cocktail list. I noticed that in the listed ingredients it said something like "simple syrup," which is normally not how sugar is incorporated into a Caipirinha but I thought I'd see what it was like. It was so sweet that all you could taste was the sugar and some of the mint. I felt like it would have tasted better over some pancakes than as a drink. The limes were lost in and their only redeeming value was adding some extra green to the color. For me, the limes in a Caipirinha should be one of the pillars of the drink with a good amount of sour and tartness slightly sweetened with some sugar. I couldn't even make out the cacha├ža.

I don't know if the simple syrup has been incorporated into the ingredients to make it easier for the bartender to squeeze it into the mix compared to having to crush the sugar into the limes and mint, but it seems they are getting lazy. I think this is a downfall of some bars where you have "bartender fatigue" where he or she has made the drink hundreds or thousands of times and they simply loose touch with the ingredients and the process - it becomes a mechanical procedure.

Perhaps Chi Cha should take their bartenders aside every once and a while and give them a refresher course.

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